Audi has announced the new model “e-tron FE07” to be launched in the 2020-2021 season of Formula E, which will be upgraded to the world championship. Since Formula E is a one-make regulation, the chassis and aerodynamic appearance are Gen2 EVO as before, but Audi has incorporated the MGU05 unit, which will be completely in-house from this year, in the power and drive system that is allowed to be independently developed. I will.
This power unit, which was jointly developed with Schaeffler until last season, has been in-house manufactured and completely newly developed. The motor adopts a surface magnet type rotor that can rotate at high speeds of over 20,000 rpm, combines a highly efficient cooling mechanism with a 6-phase system and a 1-speed drive train, and as a result of thorough weight reduction such as a carbon casing, the unit Audi is confident that it has a very lightweight heart that weighs less than 35 kg.
Moreover, it is not only light, but also converts the energy stored in the battery into power with the minimum loss, so the efficiency of this unit as a whole has reached 95%. Audi states that the new MGU inverter unit “is more than 97% efficient in all operating conditions.”
In Formula E, the output of the power unit is limited to 250kW (340HP) during practice / qualifying and 200kW (about 340HP) during normal races. During the race, all drivers can use the attack mode (power up to 235kW, 320HP for a certain period of time like Mario Kart if you pass the acceleration lane set on the course). In addition, there is also a fan boost (which can draw 250kW output for a limited time) that is given only to drivers selected by fan popularity voting. With the exception of fan boost, all drivers have the same conditions no matter what power unit they use, but the efficiency of the power unit makes a difference in energy consumption, so it is better for the driver to run without worrying about the battery level. You can say that.
Audi explains that the weight reduction technology used in this power unit is already being used in commercial vehicles. Listening to that alone, I feel that Formula E does not play the role of a “running laboratory”, which is often compared to motor sports.
However, Audi’s Formula E team principal, Allan McNish, believes that the software technology developed in Formula E will be fed back to commercial vehicles in the future. In Formula E, “Although there is not much room for hardware development, we believe that it is possible to squeeze more flavor with software, and Audi is focusing on that,” McNish said.